The parasite community of round goby Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814) (Actinopterygii: Gobiidae) newly introduced into the upper Elbe.
Round goby, Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814), an invasive Ponto-Caspian fish species, were registered in the upper Elbe for the first time in 2015, near the City of Ústí-nad-Labem (Czech Republic), apparently introduced by shipping. We sampled 53 individuals from this newly introduced population on May 18 (spring) and October 21 (autumn) 2016 in order to assess parasite load. Seven taxa were recorded, comprising two ciliates, one digenean (metacercariae), one acanthocephalan (cystacanth), two nematodes (larvae) and mollusc glochidia. No specific parasites were registered. Only the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus tereticollis was found in high numbers and occurred in both seasons, all other parasites occurring sporadically. Such a low parasite load is typical for Ponto-Caspian gobiids introduced far from their host range, and complies with the predictions of the 'enemy release hypothesis'. All parasite species were probably acquired in the upper Elbe itself. According to the 'parasite spillback' concept, round goby could potentially play an important role in P. tereticollis distribution in the Elbe.